SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  14-20.4.12, No. 419  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

Chinese VP meets Vietnamese army chief (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-14
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with Vietnamese army chief Do Ba Ty Friday morning as the two sides reaffirmed pursuit of friendly ties as well as regional peace and stability. "In the face of a complex and ever-changing international situation, the two sides should join forces and work to retain the correct direction in expanding bilateral relations, actively bring benefits to the two peoples, and maintain peace, stability and development in the region and the world," Xi said. Ty said the Vietnamese side was ready to work with China to firmly safeguard the Vietnam-China friendship, properly handle disputes and make joint efforts to promote peace, stability and development. [...] Xi stressed that appropriate resolution of two major issues -- demarcation of land borders and maritime borders in the Beibu Gulf -- has brought tangible benefits to the two countries. Noting that both China and Vietnam share identical social systems, similar ideals and connected destinies, Xi emphasized that these factors constituted a unique advantage for advancing practical cooperation and were conducive to properly addressing disputes between the two countries. [...] Ty said the Vietnamese side had always placed importance in, and would continue to work for, expanding the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Relations between the militaries of the two countries saw steady growth in recent years, Xi said, adding that this had not only contributed to the development of national defense and the armed forces of both countries, but also promoted the development of China's partnership with Vietnam. Ty responded that the militaries should further strengthen cooperation so as to maintain the general situation of bilateral links. ^ top ^

25 fishermen held in Palau to be freed (Global Times)
2012-04-14
The 25 Chinese fishermen who were kept in custody in Palau will be released Wednesday after they agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the government, Palau's Supreme Court said Friday. The captain of the detained fishing boat, who was not named, said that they voluntarily accepted the settlement, which involved compensating the Palau government for their alleged unlawful fishing in the Pacific island country's conservation area, Xinhua reported. Wen Zhencai, a counselor at the Chinese embassy in Micronesia, said that the Chinese government will dispatch a plane to send the sailors home, according to the report. A fisherman who was killed and the 25 detained were sailors of fishing boats registered in Qionghai, Hainan, said a statement by the FAO Friday. Lu Jiaxing, a deputy director of the Caotang village committee in Qionghai, told the Global Times that the killed fisherman was a resident of the village named Lu Yong, who was in his late 20s, and was the breadwinner of his family. ^ top ^

China, Russia, India look to positive roles abroad at meeting (Xinhua)
2012-04-15
The foreign ministers of China, Russia and India agreed to play constructive roles in international and regional affairs, during their 11th trilateral talks here Friday. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the cooperative mechanism of China, Russia and India had strong vitality. The mechanism served as an important platform for the emerging countries to seek peace, cooperation and development and demonstrated their will to promote mutually beneficial cooperation that did not target any third party, Yang said. [...] During the meeting, the three countries agreed the world was undergoing complicated and profound changes and becoming irreversibly multi-polar, with emerging and developing countries playing bigger roles than ever before. China, Russia and India, all emerging countries and members of the U.N. Security Council, were responsible for safeguarding peace, development and stability in the world, the three said. Meanwhile, they also agreed to enhance their cooperation in the U.N., the G20 group, BRICS and other multilateral mechanisms, in order to facilitate regional prosperity and stability and global economic recovery and development. The countries would also promote multilateralism, democratization of international relations and peaceful and common prosperity in the world, they said. They also discussed several international issues and expressed their support to the international community's positive role in solving them. The countries believed settlement of the issues should be based on the principles of the U.N. Charter and commonly acknowledged international norms, and respect should be given to sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of each country. The U.N. should play a more active role in the process and support political and diplomatic efforts to peacefully solve the issues, the countries said. [...] They agreed to expand their cooperation in disaster reduction and relief, medical care, agriculture, business and new energy. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese top political advisor holds talks with NZ acting PM on bilateral ties (Xinhua)
2012-04-17
Chinese top political advisor Jia Qinglin held talks with New Zealand acting Prime Minister Bill English on Monday afternoon. [...] Conveying Premier Wen Jiabao's greeting to New Zealand Priem Minister John Key, Jia spoke highly of the good development momentum of the China-New Zealand relations in recent years. [...] He summarized the experience for the smooth development of bilateral ties as mutual respect, mutual understanding, equality and taking into consideration each other's core interests and major concern, reciprocal trade and economic cooperation, as well as friendship between the two peoples. The two countries should give full play to the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and further deepen bilateral cooperation, Jia said. He called on the two sides to continue to make full use of the free trade agreement and currency swap deal, in a bid to achieve the goal of bilateral trade volume reaching 20 billion New Zealand dollars (16.37 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015 as soon as possible. [...] "China supports New Zealand to play an active role in international and reginal affairs and is ready to enhance communication and coordination with New Zealand in multilateral mechanisms, so as to contribute to the peace and development in Asia-Pacific and the world," Jia said. English said Jia's visit is a showcase of the closer high-level exchanges between the two countries, and is important for their further mutual understanding and cooperation. New Zealand benefited a lot from the progress of ties with China and will promote it from a strategic point of view, he added. [...] After the hour-long talks, Jia and English also witnessed the signing of two cooperation deals between the two countries on investment and clean energy cooperation. [...]. ^ top ^

China urges Guinea-Bissau's military to release detained gov't leaders (Xinhua)
2012-04-17
China urges Guinea-Bissau's military to release its detained government leaders and restore constitutional order and social stability, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Monday. Liu made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a media request for China's comment on Guinea-Bissau's military coup and relevant issues. Liu said China condemned the military seizure of power in Guinea-Bissau and was concerned about the local security situation. "The conflicts in Guinea-Bissau should be resolved through dialogue and consultation," he said. ^ top ^

Naval training ship going round the globe (China Daily)
2012-04-17
A training vessel of the Chinese People's Liberation Army navy embarked on a round-the-world voyage on Monday from Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province. This is the first single-ship circumnavigation conducted by a Chinese training vessel. According to the commander, Liao Shining, deputy chief of staff of the PLA navy, the vessel Zhenghe has 308 military personnel aboard, including 110 cadets from Dalian Naval Academy. Over the next five months, they will journey more than 30,000 nautical miles (55,560 km) and visit 11 countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Italy, Spain and Canada. Military cadets from 13 other countries will be invited aboard the vessel for part of the voyage to live and train with their Chinese counterparts, Liao said. Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA navy, encouraged the officers, cadets, and sailors to carry out their "harmonious mission". "You are entrusted with the mission of promoting friendship between China and other countries and their navies," Wu said to the crew before the vessel set sail. Wu said this is an innovative mission to improve the training of naval cadets. The vessel, named after the great Chinese navigator Zheng He (1371-1433), is the PLA navy's first domestically designed and built oceangoing training ship. Since it was commissioned in 1987, the Zhenghe has visited more than 30 countries, and sailed 280,000 nautical miles. This is the PLA navy's second round-the-world voyage. The first was undertaken by the guided missile destroyer Qingdao and supply ship Taicang in 2002. Those vessels visited 10 countries in 132 days. ^ top ^

China, Thailand upgrade bilateral ties, vow closer trade links (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
Premier Wen Jiabao and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra agreed on Tuesday to upgrade bilateral relations to a "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership." "Establishing the China-Thailand strategic cooperative partnership is of great significance for both countries and the peaceful development of East Asia," Wen told Yingluck during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People. "China hopes to enhance strategic communication with Thailand, jointly face challenges and boost cooperation in diversified areas," Wen added. Yingluck, who is visiting China for the first time as Thailand's prime minister, said the creation of the partnership meets the common interests of both countries. She vowed to facilitate stronger cooperation with China in all areas, adding that her country will play a positive role in boosting ASEAN-China cooperation and maintaining peace and stability on the South China Sea. The Chinese premier proposed expanding bilateral trade to 100 billion US dollars annually before 2015 and enhancing cooperation in ocean, telecommunication, technology, energy and agriculture. Wen pledged continuous support for Thailand in its post-disaster reconstruction and water conservancy following last year's devastating flood, the worst flood to hit Thailand in nearly 50 years. The two premiers also agreed to boost joint patrols of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand along the Mekong River and jointly safeguard peace and stability on the South China Sea. Yingluck said Thailand will conclude judicial proceedings regarding the murder of Chinese crewmen on the Mekong river as soon as possible and punish the criminals involved in accordance with the law. [...] After their talk, the two premiers witnessed the sealing of seven bilateral cooperation agreements on issues ranging from trade, agriculture and railways to flood and drought prevention and ocean research. [...] The first female prime minister of Thailand was accompanied by executives from about 100 Thai companies. According to Chinese Customs statistics, China is both the largest export market and second-largest import source for Thailand. The two countries' trade volume hit 64.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. ^ top ^

China cooperates further with Tunisia: VP (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping pledged Tuesday to further cooperation with Tunisia following the North African country's "historical transformation" last year. "China will work with Tunisia to push forward substantial cooperation in various fields so as to constantly promote friendly and cooperative ties and benefit the two countries and peoples," Xi said while meeting with Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem. China respected the will and choice of the Tunisian people after the "historical transformation" last year, Xi told Abdessalem, who is in Beijing for his first official visit to China. [...]. The North African nation, after several months of political turmoil, elected the Constituent Assembly in October which has endorsed a national unified government. "I believe that Tunisia, with joint efforts from the government and the people, will make new achievements in its national construction," Xi said. [...] Agreeing with Xi, Abdessalem said his country cherished the traditional friendship and relationship with China and appreciated China's support for Tunisians. Tunisia would work with China to bolster mutually beneficial cooperation in the future, he said. The two sides also discussed the situations in the West Asian and North African regions. ^ top ^

Joint navy drill to boost China-Russia military ties: senior Chinese officer (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
An upcoming China-Russia maritime drill will further promote strategic coordination and mutual trust between the two militaries, a senior Chinese military official said Tuesday. Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), made the remarks while discussing bilateral miliary ties and the imminent joint drill in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Makarov. The maneuver will take place on April 22-27 in the Yellow Sea near China's eastern coastal resort city of Qingdao. Friendly military-to-military cooperation is an important aspect of the China-Russia strategic partnership, Chen said, adding the drill is the first of such moves by the two countries' navies. Chen also said the drill would strengthen the naval forces' ability to jointly confront new regional threats and demonstrate their confidence to maintain peace and stability in the region and world. Makarov, for his part, said Russia sees great importance in promoting cooperation between the two militaries and the naval exercise shows that bilateral strategic coordination is at a high level. He also said lots of preparation has already been done by both sides, and Russia would like to work with China in ensuring that the drill is a success so as to make contributions to preserving security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. [...] According to the introduction of an army general with the foreign affairs office of China's defense department, the drill will focus on joint maritime defense and protection of navigation. It will involve 16 vessels including destroyers, frigates, support and hospital ships, and two submarines. Meanwhile, four warships from Russia's Pacific Fleet, as well as support vessels, warplanes, helicopters and naval infantry, left Vladivostok on Sunday for the exercise. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese, Syrian FMs meet in Beijing (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem met here Wednesday morning. At the beginning session of the meeting, Yang said the Chinese side placed great importance on Mualem's visit. "Today, we can exchange opinions on the latest situation of Syria in a broad and extensive way," Yang said. Mualem is in Beijing for a working visit to China at the invitation of Yang. Yang expressed welcome to Mualem, saying he expected to exchange views with the Syrian Foreign Minister also on a number of major regional and international issues. "I belief that your visit will produce positive results," Yang said. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said Tuesday that China held an objective and impartial stance on the Syria issue. He told a regular press briefing that China had always kept contact with the Syrian government and the opposition in an active effort to realize reconciliation through negotiations. Liu said the invitation of Mualem to China was part of the country's effort to this end. Liu said Syrian opposition leaders would visit China in the near future. "The Chinese side is ready to play an active and constructive role in resolving the Syria issue in a fair, peaceful and appropriate way," Liu said. ^ top ^

China, EU launch high-level people-to-people dialogue (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
China and the European Union (EU) launched the first-ever high-level people-to-people dialogue here on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in fields of education, youth, research and multilingualism amid increasingly close ties between the two sides. Liu Yandong, China's State Councilor, and Androulla Vassiliou, EU commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, signed a joint declaration in which China and the EU are committed to furthering exchanges between their peoples to deepen mutual understanding. China and the EU have agreed to expand the opportunities for mobility in education, increase the number of exchanges between students and scholars, particularly in high education, and improve the mutual recognition of academic qualifications. Furthermore, China and the EU will co-organize a major conference on multilingualism at the end of this year to promote language learning. The year also marks the China-EU Year of Intercultural Dialogue, under which both sides will jointly enhance the circulation of their audiovisual works and artists. Besides, the two will strengthen web-based cooperation between the Chinese and EU portals specialized in youth issues. Over the past decade, China and the EU have witnessed increasingly close cooperation on education, training, culture, research, youth and multilingualism. The people-to-people dialogue should be the third of its kind between the two sides, or the so-called "third pillar", following the established high-level economic and trade dialogue and the high-level strategic dialogue. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official meets British PM on ties (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-19
Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met here Tuesday with British Prime Minister David Cameron, saying that Sino-British ties generally maintain a good momentum of development. [...] Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, appreciated the current British government's positive policy towards China. He noted that both China and Britain now face rare development opportunities in advancing ties as both countries are implementing respectively a new five-year development plan. Li put forward a four-point proposal on deepening Sino-British ties. The proposal includes the continuation of grasping the general direction of bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective to boost political mutual trust, and pushing forward the win-win and mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation to consolidate the economic foundation for bilateral ties. He also called for more coordination between China and Britain in international affairs, and proposed expanded people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. Stressing that inter-party relationship is an important part of the Sino-British comprehensive strategic partnership, Li said the CPC is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with British mainstream parties, including the ruling Conservative Party, so as to promote relations between the two countries. Cameron said Britain has attached great importance to its relationship with China and is willing to further augment high-level exchanges between the two nations. It is particularly important for the two countries to strengthen the economic and trade cooperation under current circumstances, Cameron said [...]. ^ top ^

Manila's attempt to internationalize dispute rejected (China Daily)
2012-04-19
China rejected a request by the Philippines on Wednesday to take a maritime dispute to an international court, as Beijing sent a major ship to beef up patrols in the South China Sea. The moves underscored Beijing's determination to protect its maritime interests in response to Manila's refusal to withdraw ships from Chinese waters, analysts said. Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned Manila's charge d'affaires in Beijing, Alex Chua, for the second time in four days on Wednesday, to protest against Manila's claim over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Wednesday. Fu urged Manila to "fulfill its promise" of easing tension and withdraw its vessels from China's territorial waters. Manila on Tuesday said it planned to take the dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, according to a statement by Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. The purpose is to ascertain if Manila has "sovereign rights" over the waters, he said. Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine defense secretary, was quoted by The Philippine Star as saying that the dispute will be discussed at a meeting on April 30 in Washington between Manila's top defense and foreign affairs officials and their US counterparts. [...] Fu on Wednesday urged Manila "not to take any more measures that would worsen the situation". On April 10, 12 Chinese fishing boats were harassed by a Philippine warship near the island. Two Chinese patrol ships arrived later that day to prevent fishermen from being detained. The Philippine warship then left and the Chinese fishermen returned home on Friday. But it is reported that Manila has sent patrol ships to waters near the island following the departure of the warship. A Philippine archaeological research ship was also in waters near the island and Beijing on Monday requested the ship to leave. On Wednesday morning, China's fastest fishery administration vessel Yuzheng 310 left Guangzhou to cruise on the South China Sea. [...] China recently stepped up its patrols in the South China Sea. The Yuzheng 44061, left Zhanjiang port in Guangdong province on Sunday to waters around the Nansha Islands. [...]. ^ top ^

China launches maritime survey fleet (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Wednesday announced the establishment of a national maritime survey fleet in an effort to improve China's ability to conduct maritime surveying and research. The fleet consists of 19 survey vessels, 11 of which are oceangoing research ships with a displacement of more than 1,500 tonnes. The ships are separately owned by the SOA, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and other government sectors and institutes with maritime interests. According to the SOA, the main task of the fleet is to undertake comprehensive maritime survey and complete research tasks as part of major national research projects, international maritime research cooperation and inter-governmental cooperative projects. Liu Cigui, director of the SOA, said at the fleet's launching ceremony that the fleet will facilitate the creation of a maritime surveying and information-sharing platform. He urged the fleet to act as the core of China's oceanic development strategy, take the initiative to undertake marine survey tasks and acquire full and accurate data from China's coastal waters, as well as the open sea. ^ top ^

China installs largest optical telescope in Antarctica (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
China has finished installing and testing the AST3-1 Antarctic Survey Telescope in Antarctica, researchers from China's 28th Antarctic scientific expedition team said Wednesday. The AST3-1 is China's first domestically produced automatic unmanned telescope, capable of conducting surveys of supernovae and other extrasolar bodies. "It's 4.5 meters tall, making it the largest optical telescope in Antarctica," said Li Zhengyang, a member of the scientific expedition team. In January 2008, China installed the CSTAR optical telescope group at "Dome A" on the Antarctic Plateau, one of the coldest places on Earth. The telescope group has collected large amounts of astronomic data over the last four years, according to the expedition team. Another two optical telescopes will be installed in 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to the team's deputy head Yuan Xiangyan. "China started late in Antarctic astronomic exploration, but it has made great progress. Since we took advantage of the observation point at Dome A, more countries have expressed willingness to cooperate with us," Yuan said. ^ top ^

Dialogue conducive to solving Korean Peninsula, Iran nuclear issues: China (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
China said here Thursday that dialogue is conducive to the proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula and Iran nuclear issues, and called on all relevant parties to engage in negotiations to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in the Middle East. Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement while addressing an open meeting of the UN Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation. "To safeguard peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asia region, and promote denuclearization on the peninsula is the common interest and the responsibility of all," Li said. "Dialogue and consultations are the only correct way in addressing the peninsula issue," he said. "We hope that all sides will make an effort to maintain and implement the February 29 common understanding between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)." It is hoped that all sides concerned will maintain calm and restraint, adhere to engagement in dialogue, commit to the Six- Party Talks that promote the denuclearization process, which is in the common interest of maintaining peace and stability of the peninsula and northeast Asia, he said. [...] On the Iran nuclear issues, Li said, "Commitment to dialogue and negotiations in addressing Iran nuclear issue is of great significance in maintaining stability and peace and avoiding great upheaval in the Middle East region." [...] The latest Iran nuclear talks concluded in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday, with both Iran and the six world powers describing the dialogue as positive and constructive. [...]. ^ top ^

Visit to go on amid tensions (China Daily)
2012-04-20
The visit by South Sudan's president to China was not rescheduled despite escalating tension between Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, but the two states never agreed on a border, how much the landlocked South should pay to transport its oil through Sudan and the division of national debt, among other issues. Beijing will offer to mediate and ease the tension during Salva Kiir Mayardit's April 23-28 visit and will try to ensure the safety and interests of Chinese people and assets in the two African countries, experts said. At a news briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China is deeply concerned by the situation. "China calls on the two countries to immediately stop the conflict, respect each other's sovereignty and look at the issue from a long-term perspective," he said. Liu called for the two countries to resume talks. "China has done a lot of work to ease the tension between the two nations. We are ready to work with the rest of the international community and continue to push for peace," Liu said, adding he has not learned of any change in the visit plans of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit. According to the Foreign Ministry, President Hu Jintao will hold talks with Kiir. [...] Zhong Jianhua, China's special envoy for African affairs, told Chinese media on Wednesday that all Chinese staff at the disputed oilfield were evacuated. The conflict has put Chinese assets at risk, he said. Hu Shaocong, director of the political division of the Chinese embassy in South Sudan, told China Central Television on Thursday that the conflict area was more than 1,000 kilometers away from Juba, where most of the Chinese population are centered. So far the situation is "relatively stable", he said. [...]. ^ top ^

China and India are partners rather than rivals (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
China on Thursday reaffirmed its partnership with India, after India testfired its homemade nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on India's missile launch. The missile, with a strike range of over 5,000 kilometers, was testfired at 08:07 a.m. local time from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast, said V.L. Saraswat, chief of the India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). China has taken note of media reports of the missile launch, said Liu, adding that China and India, both large, emerging economies, are cooperative partners rather than rivals. Bilateral ties are developing well at the moment, he said, adding he believed that both sides will seize the opportunity to further advance relations. At the BRICS Summit in March, leaders of China and India reiterated the consensus to further strengthen bilateral ties, said Liu. He called on both sides to cherish the hard-earned good momentum of bilateral relations and deepen their strategic cooperation, so as to promote common development and safeguard regional peace and stability. ^ top ^

S.Korea jails fishermen (Global Times)
2012-04-20
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that China would not accept a South Korean court's decision to sentence Chinese fishermen to prison terms by unilaterally applying exclusive economic zone law. China and South Korea have not yet delimited a boundary for exclusive economic zones in the Yellow Sea, therefore the rulings based on the exclusive economic zone law were unacceptable, Liu Weimin, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday. He said that the ministry will provide the necessary assistance to the Chinese defendants and take measures to safeguard their rights. The Incheon District Court Thursday sentenced Cheng Dawei, captain of a Chinese fishing boat Luwenyu, to 30 years in jail for stabbing a South Korean law enforcement officer to death during a "crackdown on illegal fishing" last year, Yonhap reported. [...] After the fatal attack, South Korean authorities replied they would get tough on Chinese boats fishing illegally and would even consider allowing the coast guard to shoot in the course of their duties. According to South Korean media, their coast guard captured and sent back over 470 Chinese fishing boats last year. [...]. ^ top ^

UNIDO, China agree to strengthen cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and China agreed to expand cooperation in implementing multilateral environmental conventions and other areas of mutual interest. A letter of intent was signed Thursday by Kandeh K. Yumkella, UNIDO Director-General, and Liang Chen, acting Director-General of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office at China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. In addition to strengthen cooperation of implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the forthcoming Mercury Convention, the two sides agreed to promote activities in climate change mitigation. They also agreed to develop new programs to strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation in China's environmental protection area. "In recent years, UNIDO's support to China has been overwhelmingly in the environmental field. This can be repeated in other countries," said Yumkella. "UNIDO can help diffuse China's green solutions in the BRICS countries and other countries of the South, with a focus on clean technology and not just renewable energy," he added. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Premier Wen vows greater anti-corruption resolve (Xinhua)
2012-04-16
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has promised more resolute measures to curb abuse of power and combat corruption in an article to be carried Monday by an influential magazine of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. In its final year of tenure, the government will continue to work for a clean government, further deepen reforms and improve institutional building, according to Wen's article to be published by Qiushi, or "Seeking Truth." Titled "Let the power be exercised under the sunshine," the article dwells on the new achievements of China's governmental reform, the fight against corruption, the major tasks ahead when tackling corruption in 2012 and their implementation. This year, priorities will be given to the reforms in the administrative examination and approval system, the allocation of public resources, the fiscal management system, administrative expenditure management and the financial management of administrative organs and state-owned enterprises, said the article. The principle of "fighting corruption and building clean government" should be fully embodied when drafting legislation and regulations, social and economic policies as well as other important measures of reform, Wen wrote in the article. The accountability mechanism should be intensified, Wen urged. Governments at all levels which are under-performing, allow important cases of corruption to occur, or fail to handle corruption cases in a timely manner will be held accountable. The article says abuse of power can only be contained through wide and effective supervision. Governments at all levels should subject themselves to stricter administrative inspection and audit supervision, and be open to the supervision of the people. Governments should immediately respond to and investigate problems reported by the people and the media, and publicize the results of investigation in a timely manner, said the article. ^ top ^

YMCA, YWCA hold first congress (Global Times)
2012-04-16
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) held their first national congress in Beijing Sunday. This is the first convention for the two associations since 1949, when the People's Republic of China was established. The first national council and chairman are expected to be announced for the two associations at the congress, which will be attended by about 180 representatives and invited guests across the nation. Wang Zuo'an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), told the opening session that the two organizations should adhere to the nation's religious principle of "independence and self-governance." The YMCA and YWCA were established in China at the end of the 19th century and were brought into the jurisdiction of the SARA in 2009. [...]. ^ top ^

China to appoint more non-Communist officials to senior positions (Global Times)
2012-04-17
More non-Communist Chinese personnel will be appointed as chiefs, rather than deputy heads, of government agencies, according to an official statement issued on Sunday. Currently, two ministers in the cabinet are not members of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). Concrete efforts should be made to reserve more vacancies as government heads or directors for non-CPC member individuals, said the statement issued by the United Front Department of the CPC Central Committee after a conference held to enforce a newly introduced CPC human resources guideline. The statement specified the goals of having more non-Communist elites to serve as senior leaders within the legislatures, political consultative bodies, courts and procuratorates. Official statistics show that about 32,000 non-CPC members worked as senior officials at or above county level in various levels of government, legislatures and judicial authorities by 2010. ^ top ^

China considers reform of public institutions (Xinhua)
2012-04-17
China is striving to make its public institutions more "public-welfare oriented" and reduce the country's financial burden by transforming some of them into businesses, according to a circular issued on Monday. Similar to government departments but contrary to private businesses, public institutions in China are financed by the national budget and do not have earnings. They cover sectors such as education, science, culture, health, agriculture, forestry, water conservation and media sectors. As the number of workers in public institutions is far greater than the number of civil servants, it's becoming increasingly challenging for the central government to finance such a huge group. Moreover, the development of public institutions lags far behind social development, with ambiguous functions in some of them, according to the circular that contains guidelines from the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. According to the circular, an efficient, clearly-defined and regulated mechanism for public institutions will be established by 2020. [...] The reform aims to enable public institutions to offer more quality social services. Public institutions with administrative roles should be turned or merged into government departments. Those have business operations will be gradually transformed into enterprises. Those providing social services will retain their status as public institutions, with the public-welfare nature to be strengthened, according to the circular which outlines a reform plan. [...] A transitional period will last about five years for each public institution to ensure smooth switch, it said. The circular stressed the public institutions' role as social services providers, saying that efforts should be made to promote equalized social services between rural and urban areas and among different regions. Meanwhile, enterprises, social organizations and individuals are encouraged to donate for social services, and "voluntary services should be greatly promoted," the circular said. ^ top ^

Service network to upgrade for occupational illness (China Daily)
2012-04-17
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday that it will upgrade a service network for the prevention and treatment of occupational diseases in line with a newly-amended law. China's top legislature adopted an amendment to the Law on Occupational Illness Prevention and Control on December 31, 2011 in order to better protect the legal rights of workers. The amendment specifically requires governments at all levels to strengthen their ability to prevent and control work-related illnesses, as well as establish a comprehensive service system. However, 44 percent of provincial jurisdictions have yet to comply with the initiative, according to a circular published Monday on the ministry's website. It also noted that 27 percent of prefecture-level regions lack the ability to diagnose and verify occupational diseases, while 43 percent of all counties cannot provide adequate occupational health evaluations. In response, the MOH called for more financial and policy support from governments at multiple levels. The circular also addressed other issues, including China's national occupational disease monitoring system. [...] The MOH has instructed health authorities across the country to fully utilize modern communication tools like the Internet, text messaging and microblogs to give the public a better look at the newly-amended law. ^ top ^

China orders food safety overhaul in nation's schools (Xinhua)
2012-04-17
A food safety overhaul will be carried out in primary and secondary schools and kindergartens across China to screen for safety hazards, a move prompted by a recent string of food poisoning incidents in schools. The nation's food safety watchdog, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), posted a statement on its official website on Monday announcing that the SFDA and the Ministry of Education have ordered their local agencies to examine school cafeterias in their respective jurisdictions. The overhaul is meant to spot food safety irregularities, such as the hiring of unlicensed caterers, poor disinfection methods, the unscrupulous use of food additives or the illegal use of nitrite, among other hazards. The SFDA statement said if any practices are found to be illegal or in violation of relevant regulations, violators will be subject to harsh punishments. Three food poisoning accidents have occurred in schools in southwest China's Yunnan province since March, according to the statement. In the most serious case, more than 300 children fell ill after eating lunch in a rural primary school in Zhenxiong county on April 9. As of 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 10 students remained hospitalized. ^ top ^

Ethics training for civil servants a long-term task (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
Professional ethics training for civil servants is a "pressing and long-term strategic task" that could have a profound influence on the government's work efficiency as well as the image of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a senior official has said. "Lawful administration and professional ethics are two major aspects of our civil servants' quality. Their ethics level should reflect that of society on the whole, and they should set an moral example for others," said Yang Shiqiu, Party Chief of the State Administration of Civil Service (SACS). Yang's comments were carried in Tuesday's People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the CPC. In November last year, the SACS issued guidelines offering detailed training standards including the minimum course hours and training methods. This pushed the professional ethics campaign on civil servants, an idea initiated in 2009, to new heights. The move came in response to increased public outcry, as reports emerged of civil servants using prostitutes, taking bribes and leading luxurious lifestyles. [...] Yang hoped that by promoting civil servants' professional ethics, they can also improve themselves as individuals, family members as well as members of the society. According to Yang, while all civil servants must take part in the training, which includes lectures and case studies, a special focus will be given to those working in reception posts as well as at the grassroots levels as they are directly facing the people and represent the image of the Party and the government. [...] Yang called for scrutiny from the media and the public on civil servants' behavior in addition to their work units' own evaluation. "When the time comes, we will push forward the legislation on civil servants' professional ethics," Yang added. ^ top ^

Dam fears prompt new relocation (Global Times)
2012-04-18
About 100,000 people need to be relocated due to geological hazards facing the Three Gorges Dam, an official from the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) has said. An increasing number of landslides and collapses along the water banks have been occurring in the dam in the past few years, said Liu Yuan, an advisor at the MLR Department of Geological Environment and director of the Three Gorges Geological Disaster Prevention Office, China National Radio (CNR) reported on Monday. Due to timely monitoring and early warnings, no casualties were reported in the past nine years. However, prospects for disaster prevention work are not bright, CNR quoted Liu as saying. The dam has tested water storage for 175-meter water levels on several occasions since 2009. In the first three to five years after the reservoir nears its full capacity, a large number of landslides and bank collapses are likely to happen, according to experience garnered from reservoir construction both in China and abroad, said Liu. "We need to take measures to strengthen construction or relocation to avoid disasters," Liu said. Even though some landslides and bank collapses may happen in non-residential areas, they will still pose a threat to shipping operations along the river, Liu said. The MLR will cooperate with Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality, two regions near the dam, in dealing with more than 350 landslides or collapses and monitoring more than 5,000 dangerous areas. A large relocation project covering 100,000 people will be launched, he told CNR. Liu did not return calls from the Global Times yesterday. The news of the environmental damage and need for further human relocation triggered a new round of debate over the controversial mammoth project. "The negative effects brought by the dam are larger than its benefits," said Fan Xiao, an environmental and geological expert from Sichuan Province. [...]. ^ top ^

More grads to work in west China (China Daily)
2012-04-18
China plans to recruit 17,000 college graduates to live and work in the country's western regions in 2012, up from last year's quota of 10,000. "2012 is a key year for the deepening and consolidation of the country's Western Project. Local offices affiliated with the project should make more efforts to encourage graduates to apply for work in places where they are most needed," said Zhou Changkui, a senior official with the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC). Zhou made the remark on Tuesday at a meeting for the volunteer campaign. According to a statement released after the meeting, this year's volunteers can apply to work in seven sectors: basic education, agricultural technology, health care, grassroots youth work, social management and providing services in the Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions. About 10,000 of this year's volunteers will serve in ethnic regions, said the statement. According to the statement, project organizers are cooperating with the Ministry of Finance to create more favorable policies for the volunteers, such as increased subsidies and pension insurance. [...]. ^ top ^

Commentary: Criminal case shall not be interpreted as political struggle (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
Chinese central authorities and relevant departments have paid great attention to the death of British national Neil Heywood, and police have set up a team to reinvestigate the case according to law and seek truth from facts. Bogu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, the former Party chief of southwest China's municipality of Chongqing, and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at Bo's home, have been transferred to judicial authorities over suspicion of homicide. According to investigation results, Bogu Kailai and her son were previously on good terms with Heywood. However, they eventually had a conflict over economic interests, which became intensified. Reinvestigation results show that the existing evidence indicates that Heywood died of homicide, of which Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun are highly suspected. Both the investigation and reinvestigation results show that Heywood's case is a criminal case and is being handled according to law, as it would be in any other country under the rule of law. China is a socialist country based on the rule of law, and the sanctity and authority of that law shall not be trampled upon. Anyone who has broken the law will be handled in accordance with the law and their actions will not be tolerated, no matter who they may be. The homicide was alleged by former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun who entered, without authorization, the U.S. general consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6. After the death of Heywood and the Wang Lijun incident, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) decided to investigate Bo Xilai for serious discipline violations. (Prior to Bo, there were several members of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau who were investigated and punished for breaking the law and violating discipline, including Chen Xitong, former secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of CPC and Chen Liangyu, former secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of CPC.) The way in which these cases were handled won resolute support from the people and were conducive to China's stability and development. "The law shall be equally applied to anyone who commits a crime. No one shall have the privilege of transcending the law," China's Criminal Law says. The Wang Lijun incident, the death of Heywood and Bo's discipline violations have had an extremely negative impact. The timely and proper decision by the CPC Central Committee to investigate the case safeguards the sanctity of law and reflects the firm resolution of the CPC Central Committee to adhere to the rule of law. The criminal case shall not be interpreted as a political struggle. China's development will not be hindered by these separate incidents, and the overall state of the country will not be affected by human influence. China adheres to a socialist path with Chinese characteristics, with clear development goals, strategies and guidelines, which will not waver due to the effects of separate events or individuals. After the announcement of the authorities' decision and the transfer of the suspects to judicial organs, people and officials across China expressed their support for the CPC Central Committee's decision, a decision that proves that the foundation of the Party's rule is rock-solid. The facts have once again proven that the CPC represents the people's interests, accepts public supervision and punishes those who violate Chinese law and discipline. It will be better for those who are viewing the situation with a certain amount of bias to wait it out, as the truth of the matter will come out after the investigation is completed. Undoubtedly, the CPC Central Committee's decision has promoted the spirit of the rule of law, which is conducive to enhancing the legal awareness of society and is of great significance for stabilizing social order, promoting economic development and safeguarding national interests and citizens' rights. All people, Chinese and foreign alike, should recognize China's courage, determination and the concrete actions it has taken to ensure the rule of law, as this matter is important for the development of China and the world. ^ top ^

State Council releases medical reform plan (Global Times)
2012-04-19
Chinese authorities yesterday issued a detailed medical reform blueprint, vowing to speed up the establishment of a universal healthcare system and resolve problems in medical services such as hospitals profiteering from drugs sales. According to the announcement issued by the State Council, the country will further expand healthcare coverage, making sure at least 95 percent of urban and rural residents are covered. The government will increase the health insurance subsidy for citizens to 240 yuan ($37) per person a year, double the previous standard. Through pilot schemes in about 300 counties, the government will push forward reform of public hospitals, including cutting the link between doctors' incomes and the medicines that they prescribe. The reforms also include the boosting of grass-roots level medical institutions, in which the government will help train more general practitioners for community hospitals and clinics, so as to provide medical services to more people and alleviate the pressure on bigger hospitals. Yang Yansui, director of the Research Center of Employment and Social Security at Tsinghua University, said some difficulties still need to be tackled in the medical reform. First, it will be difficult to extend universal medical insurance to all people, as policies for villagers and city residents are very different. [...] Doctors are not well paid, and tend to over-prescribe to earn more money, overlooking patients' interests, which results in worsening doctor-patient relations. [...]. ^ top ^

Govt deparments urged to be transparent (China Daily)
2012-04-19
The State Council,or China's cabinet, has ordered ministries and local governments to disclose more information on public spending, government-subsidized housing construction, food safety and other issues to curb corruption and promote socialist democracy. Government departments should keep making government affairs public as their fundamental norm in governance and publicize detailed information on more issues, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday. The State Council ordered government departments across the government to make available more data on government spending on overseas trips, vehicles and receptions, government-subsidized housing, food safety, environmental protection, the bidding system of government projects, work safety, land seizures, as well as pricing and charges decided by the government. These issues are commonly believed by the public to be sources of corruption and waste in China. ^ top ^

College student calls for pay disclosure (Global Times)
2012-04-19
A total of 52 central government departments have yet to respond to a Shanghai university student's request for information on the salaries of top officials to be disclosed as of Wednesday. Lei Chuang, 26, a chemistry graduate student at Shanghai Jiaotong University, received one reply from the State Food and Drug Administration of China on Tuesday, the first one he has got since filing applications with 53 departments on Friday. Lei said the administration advised him to ask the Ministry of Health for the information, as its director is paid by the ministry to work as a vice minister in that department. Lei requested to have access to salary information regarding top officials, along with their constitution and total amounts in 2011. "I believe it is part of the government information that should be accessible to the public according to the Decree of Government Information Openness," Lei told the Global Times Wednesday. "I also hope more people take action and apply for this kind of disclosure." Lei wrote on his Sina blog that according to the Civil Servant Law of China, apart from basic salaries, subsidies and bonuses are also components of salaries for civil service employees, which many people do not know about. Yuan Yulai, a law expert on the accessibility of government information, applauded the student's action as meaningful, which he believed would have significant influence on society. "The significance of his applications lies in awakening public awareness on the supervision of civil servants, and especially top officials," Yuan told the Global Times Wednesday. [...]. ^ top ^

China sets focus on electric, hybrid cars (China Daily)
2012-04-19
China is making the industrialization of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid automobiles the focus of its new plan to develop energy-saving and alternative-energy vehicles by 2020. The measure, aimed in part at upgrading the auto industry, was adopted by the State Council on Wednesday in the long-awaited industry development plan on energy saving and new-energy vehicles. The plan proposed for the first time that pure electric vehicles will be the strategic orientation for China to upgrade its big but not yet strong automobile industry. In addition, the industrialization of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be the industry priority, along with the wide use of hybrid and energy-saving combustion-engine powered automobiles. The plan set the target of an accumulative production and sales of 500,000 pure electric and plug-in vehicles by 2015, and more than 5 million by 2020. It also aimed to lower the average fuel consumption of passenger cars produced in 2015 to 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers, and further to 5 liters per 100 kilometers in 2020. To achieve this, the government is going to encourage the purchase and use of energy-saving vehicles through subsidies, and accelerate the establishment of charging facilities for the electric vehicles. "We welcome the plan and the following encouragement policies, as our company has involved more than 200 engineers into the research and development of parts related to electric vehicles," said Chen Yudong, president of Bosch (China) Investment. The German automotive parts supplier will open its fifth research and development center in China this year. [...] China has been on the forefront of new-energy vehicles in the recent years, since the government put heavy effort into supporting the sector. Almost all major automakers have set their green car development vision in the world's largest vehicle market [...]. ^ top ^

Over 1,600 Chinese police expelled for violations in 8 years (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
Over 1,600 police officers have been relieved of their duties for violating a list of rules introduced in 2003 to regulate police behavior, the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday. In addition, nearly 600 police officers have been punished in relation to unnatural deaths of suspects in police custody, the ministry said, adding that 1.12 billion yuan (177.7 million U.S. dollars) in cash that was illegally confiscated by police officers was retrieved. More than 3,400 police vehicles and 5,800 license plates that had been appropriated for private use were also recovered. In 2003, the ministry issued five new rules for cops nationwide, forbidding them from using handguns in violation of regulations, drinking while carrying their weapons, drunk driving, drinking while on duty and gambling. The ministry has been making efforts to forbid cops from taking bribes, imposing fines at will and co-operating entertainment venues as part of a special campaign that began in 2008. ^ top ^

Arrests made in gelatin safety scandal amid ongoing investigation (Global Times)
2012-04-20
Licenses of three capsule producers in Zhejiang Province have been revoked after a pharmaceutical scandal sparked nationwide panic and further damaged the public's faith in the nation's food and drug industry. On top of losing their licenses, the suspects involved have also been officially detained pending punishment, according to statements issued by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on its website Thursday. A China Central Television (CCTV) investigative program, Weekly Quality Report, revealed Sunday that several factories in Zhejiang produced their capsules using industrial gelatin containing an excessively heavy metal content. Additional producers are still under investigation, and the SFDA has vowed to severely punish those involved and work to prevent industrial gelatin from entering the consumer drug market. Results from a test sample revealed on Wednesday showed that 33 of 96 batches of capsule materials and half-finished products in Xinchang county, Zhejiang were found to contain excessive levels of chromium, the Xinhua News Agency reported. They have not yet released the results of testing from all nine companies exposed by the CCTV broadcast. Public concern has also been raised regarding the dairy industry after it was revealed some dairy producers are suspected of purchasing industrial gelatin from the same suppliers as the capsule producers in Zhejiang. The Southern Metropolis Daily reported Thursday that a book found in a burned gelatin factory in Hebei Province contained business records of transactions with dairy manufacturers, food additives producers and beverage companies. Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co. Ltd, mentioned in the book, issued a statement Thursday saying they did not have any business relations with the gelatin factory, and that their gelatin is imported from overseas. Chen Zhu, the minister of the Ministry of Health, said responsible entrepreneurs and scientists in the nation's drug industry are in the mainstream, and urged the public to maintain confidence in their credibility. ^ top ^

SW China authorities look into suspicious demolition death (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
Authorities in southwest China's Yunnan province are investigating a suspicious death following a dispute over a local demolition project. The party secretary of Laodian township has been suspended from his post and a special work team has been set up to look into the case, according to a statement from the Qiaojia county government, which administers Laodian. A conflict broke out on Tuesday when authorities in Laodian attempted to demolish an illegally constructed building owned by villager Ding Fachao. Ding died on Wednesday morning after a half-day stay in a township government office. Villagers had been rallying outside the township government's offices since Wednesday to demand an explanation for Ding's death. The crowd dispersed on Thursday after negotiating with local officials, the statement said. The statement said police are still investigating the case. ^ top ^

Coach drivers' strike ends in central China (China Daily)
2012-04-20
Around 100 coach drivers who went on strike Wednesday morning over traffic restrictions resulting from bridge maintenance have resumed work in Central China's city of Jingzhou, local authorities said. The strike ended after the drivers accepted a new policy that will loosen traffic restrictions to allow short-haul passenger buses to cross the bridge, said officials with Jingzhou Bureau of Transport in Hubei province. Drivers from three passenger bus companies protested over traffic restrictions placed on Mishi Bridge, an important point of entry for Jingzhou, after local authorities ruled that passenger and cargo vehicles with a carrying capacity greater than 15 tonnes or a width greater than 2.3 meters would not be allowed to cross the bridge for the next two years. The coach drivers claim that their vehicles, although oversized, are not in violation of the weight-limit regulation, but have still been forbidden from crossing the bridge, forcing them to take long detours to meet their destinations. Striking drivers claimed that the detour costs each bus an additional 2,000 yuan every day. [...]. ^ top ^

1.3 mln Chinese women start businesses with government aid (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
Over 1.3 million Chinese women received interest deductions to get loans to set up their own businesses as of the end of 2011, a senior official from the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) said Thursday. Under a special assistance program introduced in mid-2009, the government has subsidized interest on small loans issued to eligible female candidates in both rural and urban regions. The government issued subsidies amounting to 2.3 billion yuan (365 million U.S. dollars), with the total amount of loans offered reaching 55.6 billion yuan, said Song Xiuyan, deputy head of the ACWF. Song also noted that the businesses in question created over five million jobs for other women. The federation has organized over 8,000 job fairs for women and helped found about 1,000 local organizations to boost employment and income for women. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Big investment on Beijing's relics protection (Xinhua)
2012-04-17
Beijing will make the largest ever investment on cultural relics restoration and renovation this year, a local cultural heritage official said on February 23. The investment will total 1 billion yuan ($159 million) for the current year, increasing significantly from 150 million yuan spent annually over the past couple of years, said Kong Fanzhi, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage. Apart from the renovation on existing relics, the cultural heritage authorities will also start rebuilding six iconic architectural constructions of Beijing, the old capital city of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), mainly ancient city gates, as of April, Kong said at the protection campaign launching ceremony. Most of the city gates and city walls of Ming and Qing, China's last two feudal dynasties, were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s to make way for new roads or subway lines. The rebuilding plan has sparked a public outcry as many questioned the protection practices and lavish spending on "fake" cultural relics. "Bullshit! Demolition continues here while rebuilding starts there," wrote "Xinyanyuhan" on Sina Weibo, the popular Twitter-like microblogging service in China. Over the years, many "siheyuan", or traditional courtyard homes, in Beijing have been bulldozed to make way for real estate projects or city infrastructures. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Protests halved in economic hub (China Daily)
2012-04-19
The annual number of public protests in Guangdong province has dropped from a peak of more than 4,000 a year to 1,800 last year, with more than half related to labor disputes. Due to improved capability in maintaining social stability in China's economic hub, the disputes have decreased by 4.6 percent, 8.9 percent and 3.5 percent year-on-year in the past three years, said Chen Shaobo, secretary-general of the committee of political and legislative affairs of Guangdong provincial Party committee, on Wednesday. [...] After labor disputes, the next most frequent cause of protests related to land requisition and building demolition, followed by environmental issues, Chen said in his review of the public security situation in Guangdong over the past five years. Chen added that disputes over rights in forests and mountains in rural areas were also behind many protests. In one prominent demonstration in September at Wukan village, Guangdong's Lufeng city, residents protested over land transfers, financial accounts and the election of village officials. [...] The improvement of social order in Guangdong is partly due to a three-level platform set up to maintain stability. A total of 121 county-level, 1,584 township-level and 25,779 village-level stability maintenance centers have been set up in large farms, schools, businesses and public institutions since 2009. The centers have successfully reconciled 94 percent of the 850,854 disputes they had tackled by the end of last year, Chen said. [...] Chen Shaobo on Wednesday also noted the performance of police authorities in the province. Guangdong police have cracked 190,000 criminal cases every year in the past three years. The number of serious violent cases, such as those involving murder, robbery and rape, declined by 15.9 percent in 2010 and by 12.6 percent last year [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet continues hefty investment in drinking water projects (Xinhua)
2012-04-15
Tibet in southwestern China will continue to invest heavily in drinking water projects this year in its vast rural areas, local water resources authorities said Saturday. The region earmarked 320 million yuan ($51 million) for 2012, expecting to provide roughly 300,000 people access to safe drinking water, said Rinchen, an official with the water resources department of Tibet Autonomous Region. Though Tibet is a place with rich water resources, due to poor economic and geological conditions, farmers and herders in the plateau's remote areas still have trouble obtaining clean and safe drinking water. The region has been trying to fix this problem over the past few years. During the 11th Five-Year Plan from 2005 to 2010, its water projects, which included setting up water pipes and drilling wells, enabled 1.5 million people to have access to clean water. Rinchen said that fewer epidemic diseases were reported in recent years, which is believed to be a result of those rural water safety projects. Last year, Tibet invested 235 million yuan in such projects, providing safe drinking water for over 223,000 people. ^ top ^

Monks, nuns awarded for patriotism, law-abidance (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
Fifty-nine model monasteries and 6,773 law-abiding monks and nuns were recognized for their model behavior by the Tibetan government on Thursday. The government presented each of the model monasteries with a commemorative plaque and 4,000 yuan (635 U.S. dollars) for each of their law-abiding clergy. In 2011, the Tibetan government unveiled a scheme to appraise its monasteries and award clergymen who demonstrate patriotic and law-abiding behavior every year. The plan is aimed at encouraging clergymen to promote the maintenance of normal religious order and improve stability in monasteries. The appraisal and award activities are a good way to comprehensively implement the religious policies of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as well as laws and regulations on administrating religious affairs, said Chen Quanguo, secretary of the Tibet regional committee of the CPC. "Sera Monastery is one of the first monasteries to win the award. The monks are quite proud of this," said Losang Chosphel, a monk at Sera Monastery, one of three leading monasteries in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. In 2011, the Tibetan government began to offer pensions and medical insurance to monks and nuns at all monasteries to improve their livelihoods. "The clergymen are grateful to the government as they are now free of worries over old age and illness," he said. "The activity is great. It can allow patriotic clergymen to receive political honor and financial rewards, which will help to maintain religious order and stability," said Phuntsog Lhazom, a nun at Chusang Monastery. ^ top ^

Tibet tourism off to a rosy start in Q1 (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region reported a 23.7-percent hike in tourist arrivals in the first three months of this year, heralding a rosy outlook for the plateau's tourism industry in the Year of the Water Dragon. Tibet received 230,000 tourist arrivals from January to March, a senior official with the regional tourism bureau said Thursday. Meanwhile, Tibet's tourism revenue climbed 27.9% over the same period of last year to reach 229 million yuan (36.34 million U.S. dollars), said Yu Yungui, secretary of the bureau's committee of the Communist Party of China. Yu attributed the tourism boom to a growing number of sightseers and religious travelers. [...] Interprovincial expressways linking Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces with the plateau region reported a significant rise in traffic flows starting in February. Figures provided by the road traffic management bureau indicated that 18,600 private cars hit the road to Tibet in the first quarter, up 27.8% year on year. Meanwhile, rising incomes have enabled more Tibetans to make pilgrimages to Lhasa. From January to March, the holy city received 128,000 religious travelers, said Yu. [...] In the six months from October to the end of March, a traditionally slack season, Tibet received a record 1.79 million tourist arrivals, up 47.8% year on year, said Yu. This year, Tibet expects 10 million tourist arrivals and 12 billion yuan in tourism revenue, he said. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

'Zero' quota for mainland mums (SCMP)
2012-04-17
Chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying said yesterday mainland women who have not got a Hong Kong husband will not be allowed to give birth at private hospitals next year. He also said children born to mainland parents would not be guaranteed residency. The influx of mainland mothers-to-be, who are accused of squeezing resources available to Hong Kong parents, was a key issue in last month's chief executive election. Leung's warning that the quota for mainland births at private hospitals next year would be "zero" shocked hospital bosses. It also sparked fears that some hospitals which have invested heavily in obstetrics may be forced to close. In an apparent break with incumbent Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who identified medicine as one of six key industries for the city, Leung said: "Providing obstetric services to mainland women is not the correct way to develop the medical industry." Leung did not specify how he would implement his plan to scrap the automatic right of abode, a right that was upheld in a Court of Final Appeal ruling in 2001. "The Hong Kong community has come to a common consensus that, no matter whether we use administrative measures or seek legal methods, these non-locals' babies should not become permanent residents," Leung said. [...] Asked about the possibility of solving the right-of-abode issue by asking Beijing for an interpretation of the Basic Law, Leung said: "Seeking interpretation of the law is one of the ways to solve the problem. But... if it can be solved by another legal method, it is better to do it that way." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan changes strategy with anti-drone drills (SCMP)
2012-04-17
Taiwan began annual military exercises yesterday to simulate attacks by the mainland, with a new emphasis on fending off drones that are believed to have become a major, cost-cutting part of PLA military strategy. The Defence Ministry said thousands of troops will participate in the five-day Han Kuang, or Chinese Glory, manoeuvres at air bases and along the island's coasts. The drills are aimed at defending against PLA troop landings and air attacks, but for the third year in a row they won't involve any live fire, partly a reflection of improving ties with Beijing. [...] Before recently re-elected Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office four years ago, Han Kuang was a live fire extravaganza, featuring coordinated air, naval and land responses by Taiwanese forces to a simulated attack by Beijing. That has now morphed into digital war-gaming, reflecting not only improving relations between the sides - tensions across the strait are now at their lowest point since 1949 - but also a strong desire to cut costs. Still, Beijing has never renounced its threat to attack Taiwan if the island moves to make its de facto independence permanent - a step that would fly in the face of Beijing's claim that Taiwan is part of its territory. While Ma has promised that such a move won't occur on his watch, Beijing has continued outfitting its military with what it needs to conduct a cross-strait invasion, and has raised the number of missiles it aims at Taiwanese targets from some 1,100 in 2008 to an estimated 1,500 today. ^ top ^

Chinese mainland, Taiwan began trade office exchange (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have begun to accept applications from economic agencies for the establishment of trade offices, according to Taiwanese authorities in charge of economic affairs. Given the complexity of the issue, only one agency from each side will be permitted to set up offices at first, Emile Chang, a spokesman from the island's economic authority, said on Wednesday. The establishment of the trade offices is part of follow-up negotiations for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a wide-ranging economic pact designed to facilitate trade between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. [...] The Taiwan External Trade Development Council will likely be the first Taiwanese agency to set up a trade office on the Chinese mainland. The council has applied to build offices in Shanghai and Beijing. It also plans to eventually build offices in the mainland cities of Guangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao and Dalian. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China to fine-tune economy amid slowdown (Xinhua)
2012-04-14
The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Friday vowed to strengthen the fine-tuning of the economy in a timely manner in order to cope with new circumstances as the first quarter GDP registered the lowest growth rate in nearly three years. The economy is currently in a generally stable state, but faces many difficulties and challenges. Efforts should be made to leave more room for new policies and prepare for hardships and tests, according to an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. The government pledged to improve macro-regulation, enhance demand management and make policies more targeted, flexible and forward-looking, according to a statement issued after the meeting. The statement came hours after data showed the GDP of the world's second-largest economy grew 8.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the lowest in 11 quarters. China's GDP slowed throughout all of 2011, from 9.7 percent in the first quarter to 8.9 percent in the last quarter, as external demand waned from the United States and the European Union, China's major trade partners. The government will work to enhance domestic demand by boosting consumption and retaining a proper investment scale while ensuring funding for key investment projects, the statement said. "Concrete efforts should be made to break up monopolies, relax restrictions on market access and boost the momentum of private sector investment," it said. It reiterated that the government will continue a campaign to curb property prices and speculation. The government has vowed to build more ordinary commercial housing and construct more affordable homes. [...]. ^ top ^

Economic weakness erodes China's fiscal revenue growth (Xinhua)
2012-04-14
China's fiscal revenue rose 18.7 percent year-on-year in March to 905.8 billion yuan (143.78 billion U.S. dollars), the Ministry of Finance said Friday. The increase was down sharply from 26.7 percent in March 2011. In the first quarter of this year, the country's fiscal revenue rose 14.7 percent from the same period last year to hit nearly 3 trillion yuan, the ministry said. The growth, though slightly higher than the 13.1-percent rise in the January-February period, contrasts a 33.1-percent jump in the same period last year. The ministry attributed the slower growth in fiscal revenue to economic weakness, slower price rises and tax cuts to adjust revenue distribution, support small companies and industrial upgrading, and expand imports. [...] Tax revenue nationwide climbed 10.3 percent year-on-year to 2.59 trillion yuan in the first three months, compared with a 32.4-percent increase in the same period of last year. The ministry said lower growth was seen in value-added tax, business tax, corporate income tax and import tariffs. Revenue from the value-added tax, a major part of total tax revenue, rose 5.4 percent in the January-March period from a year ago to 660.2 billion yuan, it said. On the spending side, there was a steep rise in public housing projects, which surged 74.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. Fiscal expenditure on healthcare as well as energy conservation and environmental protection also climbed by 68.2 percent and 64.8 percent, respectively, in the period. In the first three months, the country's fiscal expenditure totaled 2.41 trillion yuan, up 33.6 percent year-on-year. Its fiscal expenditure increased 34.7 percent in March from a year ago to 1.02 trillion yuan, the ministry said. ^ top ^

Yuan-dollar trading band widened (Global Times)
2012-04-16
China announced over the weekend that it would expand the daily yuan trading band against the US dollar beginning today, in a move that analysts viewed as a breakthrough toward further liberalizing the country's exchange-rate regime and making its currency more market-oriented. The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, said Saturday it would widen the yuan's trading band against the US dollar to 1 percent above or below a daily reference exchange rate, effective today. This is up from its previous 0.5 percent trading limit. It last expanded the yuan's trading band against the dollar from 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent back in May 2007. The announcement came after Premier Wen Jiabao and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan had hinted on various occasions in recent months that the country would allow a wider yuan trading band given that the currency is approaching a fair value. [...].

Since the ratio of China's current account surplus to GDP has dropped to below 3 percent, the yuan exchange rate can no longer be considered to be undervalued by much. Expectations concerning the appreciation of the yuan have dissipated, and there seem to be little speculative flows related to the yuan, Wang Tao, head of China economic research at UBS Securities, said. "The above provides an excellent background for China to continue its exchange rate reform by increasing the flexibility of the exchange rate," she noted. [...] The scale of the widening is bigger than the 0.7 percent level expected by the market. With falling trade and current account surplus, external pressure for appreciation of both the yuan and US dollar will be alleviated. [...] The International Monetary Fund chief welcomed China's move, calling it "an important step." "This underlines China's commitment to rebalance its economy toward domestic consumption and allow market forces to play a greater role in determining the level of the exchange rate," IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement on Saturday. ^ top ^

IMF projects China economy to grow 8.2 percent in 2012 (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said that China's economy is expected to grow by 8.2 percent this year, signaling a soft landing even with the drag from external demand. Investment and private consumption remained strong in China, supported by solid corporate profits and rising household income, said the IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook report (WEO). While the spillovers from the European debt crisis had damaged external demand, China's robust domestic demand helped offset the drag on growth of slowing exports, noted the report. Moreover, the growth of Chinese consumer prices will fall to 3.3 percent this year after a 5.4 percent gain in the previous year, it said. China is also in face of internal risks of balance sheet vulnerability from slowing real estate and export sectors, the report said. "They appear manageable on their own, but a large external shock could bring these risks to the fore, precipitating a decline in investment and activity in China," it said. In addition, the Fund also projected China output will grow higher at 8.8 percent in 2013. [...]. ^ top ^

China confident in 10-pct trade growth (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
China is confident about achieving the full-year target of 10-percent growth in foreign trade, despite slowed growth in the first quarter due to cumulative factors, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday. In the first three months this year, the country's exports and imports rose 7.3 percent from a year earlier. "The growth rate was relatively low. It was a result of cumulative factors from both home and abroad," MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference. The world's largest exporter suffered from weak external demand, increasing trade competition and disputes, and rising costs for domestic enterprises in the first quarter, Shen said. Despite these difficulties, exports grew 7.6 percent compared to the same period last year. [...] He said weak growth in the United States and the European Union, China's two major export markets, reduced orders for many Chinese exporters. Meanwhile, rising costs for domestic companies made Chinese exports more expensive and less competitive. "Some orders, especially those of labor-intensive industries, were taken away by countries and regions in Southeast Asia," Shen said. Rising trade protectionism also posed new challenges to Chinese exporters. In the first quarter, foreign countries filed 16 trade remedy cases against China, up 180 percent from a year earlier. Those cases involved nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars, more than double that in the same period last year, Shen said. As for imports, the spokesman said the growth fell within a reasonable range but was slightly lower than market expectations. Weak domestic demand, an anticipated deceleration of processing trade and falling commodity prices led to the slower import growth. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese courts see increase in IPR cases (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
The number of cases handled by Chinese courts nationwide regarding intellectual property rights (IPR) disputes and violations surged in 2011, a spokesman for the Supreme People's Court (SPC) said Tuesday. In 2011, local courts at all levels across the country received 59,612 new IPR-related civil cases and concluded the trials of 58,201 cases, up by 38.86 percent and 39.51 percent, respectively, from the previous year, SPC spokesman Sun Jungong said at a press conference held by the SPC in the city of Suzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province. Moreover, local courts received 5,707 new criminal cases involving IPR issues, an increase of 42.96 percent on a year-on-year basis, Sun said. According to Sun, cases regarding patents, trademarks and copyrights all rose rapidly, and the number of Internet-related IPR disputes also increased. Furthermore, a total of 1,137 cases of unfair competition were filed with courts, Sun said, calling on the courts to carefully deal with such cases to ensure free competition and fair play in the market. Also on Tuesday, the SPC published 10 major IPR-related cases and 50 typical cases in this regard handled by the country's courts in 2011, including one that involved a court ruling against taobao.com, a popular online shopping site in China, for its joint liability in trademark infringement. The cases can be taken as references for IPR holders to effectively protect their rights as well as for courts nationwide to properly apply the law, said Jin Kesheng, a senior SPC judge. ^ top ^

China's Q1 overseas investment surges 95 pct (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
China's non-financial overseas direct investment (ODI) surged 94.5 percent year on year to 16.55 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of this year, the Ministry of Commerce announced (MOC) Tuesday. Of the total, 6.2 billion U.S. dollars of investment took the form of mergers and acquisitions, said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang. The ODI marked a substantial increase in March, as investment in the first two months of this year stood at just 7.435 billion U.S. dollars. First quarter investments were made in 1,096 overseas companies in 109 countries and regions around the world, according to Shen. As of the end of March, China's non-financial ODI expanded to 338.5 billion U.S. dollars, Shen said. ^ top ^

Home prices decline in most cities in March (China Daily)
2012-04-19
New home prices declined in most of 70 major Chinese cities in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday. In March, 46 cities out of the statistical pool of 70 major cities saw drops in new home prices from February, while new home prices in 16 cities remained unchanged, the NBS said. Eight cities, up from four in February, saw gains in new home prices, the NBS noted. ^ top ^

Centralized government procurement saves China billions (Xinhua)
2012-04-19
Centralized government procurement has helped save 2.19 billion U.S. dollars for China's central government departments since its adoption 10 years ago, the Government Offices Administration of the State Council said Wednesday. Altogether, central government departments spent a total of nearly 90.7 billion yuan (14.4 billion U.S. dollars) on purchases over the last 10 years. The savings were comparable to receiving a 13-percent discount. Government procurement across the whole country was about 1 trillion yuan in 2011, or 10 percent of China's fiscal expenditure, with about 150 billion yuan in savings on centralized procurement. These savings were comparable to a discount of 12 percent, according to Wang Ying, director of the government procurement management office under the Ministry of Finance. As of March this year, government procurement mechanisms have been established for all governments at the county level. Three centralized procurement centers have been set up for central government organs and more than 2,100 procurement organizations have been set up for local governments [...] The procurement law was introduced in 2002, in a bid to enhance procurement efficiency, save money and prevent corruption. Centralized procurement helps promote energy conservation, supports small and medium-sized enterprises and popularizes non-counterfeit products such as computer software, said Wang Lida, director of the Central Government Procurement Center. [...]. ^ top ^

London aims to be a yuan center (China Daily)
2012-04-19
George Osborne, British chancellor of the exchequer, announced an initiative on Wednesday that reaffirms his support of London becoming an offshore yuan center. That came as the banking and financial services company HSBC Holdings Plc introduced the first yuan-denominated bond to be offered in London. [...] "This is a significant moment," Osborne said as he introduced a policy named "London as a center for offshore renminbi business". [...] "Today's event emphasizes that we are not prepared to let anyone steal a march on us in terms of new products and new markets. We are the natural home in the West for those who want to invest in China's economic success story." Osborne's comments came after HSBC announced the introduction of a 3-year yuan bond. [...] The proposed issuance comes amid reforms Beijing has made to advance its plans to make the yuan an international currency. London is working to make itself into a center for offshore yuan trade following an agreement that was reached between Britain and China last year. [...] According to the initiative "London: a center for renminbi business", London was the site of 280 million yuan in commercial loans in 2011. The city was also the site of 88 million yuan in trade services and 16.3 billion yuan in import and export financing that year. The report also found that $680 million in renminbi were spot traded in London each day on average, making up 26 percent of the $2.7 billion in the currency spot traded on average throughout the world. [...] Osborne said he thinks other banks and corporations will issue renminbi bonds, especially institutions from China. [...]. ^ top ^

China to become biggest source of outbound tourists this year (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
China is widely anticipated to overtake Germany and United States to become the world's biggest source of outbound travelers by the end of this year, an industry insider said Thursday. The remarkable achievement is well ahead of predictions, Matt Thompson, project director for the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, said at a tourism fair held in Beijing. For the last few years, China has been leading the trend and the latest figures confirm the dramatic rise of China as a source for outbound tourism, he said. The China Tourism Academy put the final figures at approximately 70 million overseas trips made by Chinese mainlanders in 2011, an increase of more than 20 percent from the 57.4 million trips taken in 2010. This year, it is predicted that about 78 million Chinese will travel overseas, and the consumption generated from outbound tourism will hit a record high of 80 billion US dollars, Thompson said. He said several factors have contributed to the growth, including the expansion of China's middle class, increasing support from the Chinese government, the relaxation of visa application procedures and the appreciation of China's currency. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

China urges calm after DPRK's satellite launch (China Daily)
2012-04-14
China calls on all sides to keep in contact in the wake of the satellite launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Friday. Liu made the remarks after the DPRK confirmed that the earth observation satellite launched earlier on Friday morning failed to enter orbit. China has noted the situation regarding the DPRK's satellite launch and the reactions of all parties concerned, according to the spokesman. Liu said China urges all concerned to remain calm and exercise restraint, in an effort to jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region. [...] The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) official TV station announced Friday noon that the satellite they fired Friday morning did not enter the preset orbit. The KCTV, DPRK's official TV, said the country is looking for possible reasons. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK's Kim Jong Un elected first chairman of National Defense Commission (Xinhua)
2012-04-14
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un has been elected first chairman of the National Defense Commission, official news agency KCNA reported Friday. The election came during the fifth session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), where delegates also venerated late leader Kim Jong Il as eternal chairman of the powerful commission, the agency said. "The fifth session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK elected Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, supreme commander of the Korean People's Army and supreme leader of the WPK and people of the DPRK, as first chairman of the National Defence Commission (NDC) of the DPRK," the KCNA said in a news alert. Other issues discussed in the session at the Mansudae Assembly Hall included "revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK," assessing the work of the cabinet in 2011 and setting its tasks for 2012, reviewing the 2011 national budget and developing the 2012 national budget, among others. The SPA is the supreme power organ of the DPRK. It holds the highest position and authority of the country and exercises legislative power. The parliamentary session is usually held annually. At the Fourth Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Wednesday, Kim Jong Un was elected first secretary of the WPK and Kim Jong Il was venerated as eternal general secretary of the party. Also during the WPK conference, Kim Jong Un was appointed chairman of the party's Central Military Commission. He became vice chairman of the commission during the previous WPK conference on Sept. 28, 2010. ^ top ^

DPRK stages military parade to mark centennial of Kim Il Sung's birth (Xinhua)
2012-04-16
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) staged massive celebrations in Pyongyang's main square on Sunday with a grand military parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding leader Kim Il Sung. In a speech delivered at the event, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un lauded the historic contributions by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong IL to the DPRK's development, and offered the highest respect and honor to the two late leaders. Noting that the DPRK is facing a momentous historic opportunity, Kim Jong Un called upon the whole nation to stick to the path blazed by his predecessors and strive to win new victories. It is Kim Jong Un's first public speech after he became first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission and first chairman of the National Defence Commission. Tens of thousands of people gathered at Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, and applauded and cheered throughout his speech. A march-past of more than 30 phalanxes of the army, navy and air forces, workers and peasants, students and female soldiers was staged amid thunderous cheers from the crowds. A wide array of military hardware, including tanks, shore-to-ship missiles, and ground-to-air missiles, rumbled past the podium. Kim Jong Un smiled and saluted the soldiers and crowds throughout the parade and chatted occasionally with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK. "The Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "the Song of General Kim Jong Il" were broadcast in the neighborhoods of Pyongyang after the parade was over. The military parade is among the festivities to mark the centennial of the birth of Kim Il Sung, who passed away in 1994. On the same day, Kim Jong Un, together with senior party, state and army officials, visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun and paid tribute to President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il. ^ top ^

DPRK says not to follow deal with U.S. (Xinhua)
2012-04-18
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Tuesday said it now wasn't obliged to a major deal with the United States and would continue to launch satellites, the official KCNA news agency said. The DPRK also rejected a latest UN Security Council presidential statement condemning its satellite launch, the agency cited a foreign ministry official as saying. The official said the DPRK would continue to explore space for peace purposes, and develop satellite launching skills necessary for the country's economic development. The official stressed the DPRK would no longer be confined by the Feb. 29 U.S.-DPRK agreement, as the Unites States had completely breached it with confrontational acts. [...] The United States had all along fiercely opposed the launch, which it said was a disguised long-range ballistic missile test, and had therefore suspended food aid to the DPRK, promised in the Feb. 29 deal. On Monday, the UN Security Council, in the presidential statement, strongly condemned the DPRK satellite launch, saying the move raised "grave security concerns." It demanded Pyongyang's full compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile program and reestablish a moratorium on missile launches. The Security Council also expresses its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test. China on Monday called for more dialogue and consultations after the UN Security Council's strong condemnation, as Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said "it has been proven that dialogue and consultations are the only correct way to solve problems.". ^ top ^

DPRK vows to continue launching satellites (Xinhua)
2012-04-20
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Thursday that it would continue to launch satellites despite any hostile opposition it might face, the official KCNA news agency reported. A spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said the DPRK would continue satellite launches following the Songun (military-first) policy and in line with the country's long-term policy on peaceful space development. The spokesman condemned South Korea and the United States, which said the DPRK's launch of an earth observation satellite on April 13 was "a disguised missile test." He said the DPRK would exercise every means to protect the country's legitimate right and dignity while continuing further exploration of satellite launch technology necessary for the country's economic development. [...] The DPRK confirmed the earth observation satellite launched earlier on April 13 failed to enter orbit. On Monday, the U.N. Security Council issued a presidential statement that strongly condemned the DPRK's satellite launch, saying the move raised "grave security concerns." It demanded Pyongyang's full compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile program and reestablish a moratorium on missile launches. The Security Council also expressed its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test. China on Monday called for more dialogue and consultations after the Security Council's strong condemnation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said "it has been proven that dialogue and consultations are the only correct way to solve problems.". ^ top ^

 

Gregor Muischneek
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
Page created and hosted by SinOptic Back to the top of the page To SinOptic - Services and Studies on the Chinese World's Homepage